I was born and raised in Kenya, a country two and a half times as big as Minnesota, and famous for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife preserves. If an African Safari is in your bucket list, Kenya is THE place. Ever heard of the wildebeest migration? The numbers are astronomical. Over two million animals! Wildebeests, zebras, impalas and gazelles navigate the endless Serengeti in a clockwise loop searching for greener pastures and water. This trek is not without drama. The migrating herds are constantly under ambush from stealthy predators such as Africa's big cats, and the massive Nile crocodiles that lie camouflaged in the muddy waters at the various river crossing points. Only Antarctica’s emperor penguins face a stiffer survival test than the Savanna mammals.
So I was born in Kenya. To be precise, Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Like many other metropolises, Nairobi is a study in contrasts, with modern skyscrapers and vast shantytowns with rusted tin roofs in the distance. That being said, Kenyans are beautiful at heart, aspirational, idealistic, entrepreneurial, and kick-ass marathoners. Tune in to the New York City or Boston marathons, and you will see rail thin Kenyans cross the finish lines first, second and third without gasping for air.
I came to the States 16 years ago to study Pharmacy. Still feels like yesterday. “Time is round, and it rolls quickly”. After a semester of Microbiology, Physiology and Human Anatomy, I realized that Calculus, Physics and Chemistry were easier bets. It wasn’t all for naught though. I do remember a few things from those classes…the cell is the basic building block of all organisms, and the mitochondrion is the cell’s power plant. Two engineering degrees later, and more than 10 years of engineering experience, I have no regrets. Engineering was the right choice.
Why Minnesota, and not one of the much warmer States? Why this frozen tundra? These are questions I field very often. I have relatives in Minnesota. My uncle and his family were extremely generous to host me for a year. It is that simple. Minnesota is a beautiful state. The summers always make me nostalgic since they are reminiscent of the good ol’ days in Kenya. If you are into start-ups and Tech like I am, the Twin Cities doesn’t disappoint. I have been blown away by local projects, and I really enjoy interacting with the eclectic gang of Creatives, Idealists, Futurists, Yea-sayers, Builders, Crafters, Makers, Doers, Hackers and Contrarians at local meetups and conferences. If you are into the Arts and Crafts, the Twin Cities delivers abundantly. Wanna eat amazing food and drink fantastic craft beer with some cool hipsters? Minnesota’s got you.
I live in Woodbury, a suburb of the Twin Cities, and work for an automotive tier supplier. I’m married, and we have a 4 year old daughter. Besides wet-shaving, my other passions include designing, making, 3D printing, golfing and cars. I’m always on the search for twisty scenic routes for top down drives in my Miata NB or 996. If you know of some fun routes in Minnesota and Wisconsin, drop me an email.
Until next time.